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US Forest Service opens Sacred Sites Report for public comment
Saturday, September 10 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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The U.S. Forest Service has opened for public comment through the Federal Register a draft report that outlines its policies and procedures on Indian Sacred Sites.
The 60-day comment window follows on-going dialogue between the Forest Service and Tribal representatives on Sacred Sites. The Forest Service will accept public comments on the draft report while honoring its responsibility to consult with Indian Tribes.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requested an internal review and consultation with Tribes to determine if existing law, regulations and policies affecting Sacred Sites provide a consistent level of protection.
Comcast offers $10 Internet for low-income families
Saturday, September 10 2011
 
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A new program from cable, telephone, and Internet provider Comcast will provide discounted web access, a low-cost computer, and free Internet training for qualifying low-income families in the US. The service is called Internet Essentials and is expected to help bridge the divide that poor families face regarding technology.
Funding dedicated to Native American elder abuse prevention
Saturday, September 10 2011
 
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Grants totaling $761,000 were awarded to two National Center on Elder Abuse Grantees
Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee announced two new grants totaling $761,000 for the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), including first-time funding specifically dedicated to elder abuse prevention in Indian Country.
NASA Sends Old Tobacco Seeds Into Space
Saturday, August 13 2011
 
Written by Jacob Croonenberghs,
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cover story nasa seeds.jpgNASA, on one of it's final return flights, has brought back experiments aboard the International Space Station that used Native heirloom seeds. The landing on June 22nd marked the completion of the nearly year-long Indigenous Star Seeds experiment involving indigenous tobacco. Scientists have wondered what effects microgravity plays on the growth of plants in space, and for years has researched the viability of crop growth for long term voyages.
"The seeds that were to germinate in zero gravity were 800 year old tobacco seeds," said Roxanne Gould (Odawan Ojibwe), a Science Museum of MN-American Indian Advisory Committee member. The Science Museum of MN donated the seeds for the project.
"The experiment came about because my husband [Jim Rock] works with the Minnesota Planetary Society. They had done a presentation at a climate change conference in Shakopee and a representative of NASA was interested in the experiment Jim was proposing."
Native American garden planted at the U of?MN-Morris
Saturday, August 13 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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A new Native American garden is growing this summer at the University of Minnesota, Morris Crocus Valley Gardens. The gardens are adjacent to the campus. Part of a multi-garden plot, the tradition "three sisters garden"- corn, beans, and squash - shares space with community gardens maintained by the UMM Student Organic Gardening Club and the Regional Fitness Center (RFC). The native garden project was coordinated through the Morris Healthy Eating Initiative and the Office of Community Engagement in partnership with the West Central Research and Outreach Center.
Donna Chollett, associate professor of anthropology and Latin American area studies coordinator, said former student Daniel Hart initiated the idea in 2008 as a service-learning project in her Culture, Food, and Agriculture course.
The Community Food Assessment conducted in 2009-10 by Morris Healthy Eating considered the barriers to gardening. Under the guidance of Mary Jo Forbord, Morris Healthy Eating coordinator and organic farmer, the project's vision is "to make fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods the easy choice for every meal every day for UMM students, as well as for the residents of Morris and Stevens County no matter their income or age."
 Results of the assessment indicated that 50 percent of students would eat more fruits and vegetables on campus if they had access to a garden to grow their own, and American Indian students were among those showing the highest interest in gardening access. They also believed their diets would be healthier if the food was produced in their traditional ancestral ways.
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